Local recruitment: Policy Attorney/Legal Policy Advocate via Idealist

Clean Ocean Action (COA)

Long Branch, NJ, USA 🇺🇸

Clean Ocean Action (COA) is a leading nonprofit regional coalition protecting the marine waters off the NJ/NY coast. COA’s Policy Attorney/Legal Policy Advocate (title dependent on level of education) helps lead legal and policy strategies to defend the marine ecosystem from harm through regulatory and legislative means. This position works with policy leaders, including elected officials, and must possess strong written and oral communication skills, as well as thrive in a fast-paced, multi-faceted environment. The Policy Attorney/Legal Policy Advocate is result-oriented, environmentally-focused, and has a strong desire to protect and improve coastal waters. The Policy Attorney/Legal/Policy Advocate is required to hold a J.D. from an accredited law school or have 5 years successful public policy experience.

The Policy Attorney/Legal Policy Advocate is the primary legal and technical expert who defends the marine ecosystem from pollution, industrialization and climate change, and protects water quality in collaboration with the COA team. The Policy Attorney investigates issues, develops positions, identifies solutions, and creates outreach materials. The Policy Attorney/ Legal Policy Advocate is responsible for coordinating and participating in sensitive meetings with high-ranking local, state, and federal officials, advocates, and other experts; analyzing local, state and federal policies, legislation and research for impacts to marine water quality; and developing and implementing pro-ocean protection policies, strategies, and actions. The Policy Attorney/ Legal Policy Advocate will also track, coordinate, and participate in targeted advocacy campaigns throughout the region.

The Policy Attorney/ Legal Policy Advocate reports to the Executive Director. This position offers a significant level of responsibility and opportunity for advancement in a marine protection career.

While supported by the Executive Director, Staff Scientist and the COA team, essential duties and responsibilities of the Policy Attorney/Legal Policy Advocate include but are not limited to:

 Shape regional and national ocean protection policies

 Monitor issues and respond proactively to protect water quality

 Garner support for strong ocean protection policies from elected leaders and decision makers

 Prepare and present testimony for municipal, state and federal legislation

 Identify, investigate, track and evaluate proposals, regulations, projects and issues

 Develop written products including comments, presentations, policy briefs, technical reports, position statements, and research memos that concisely and clearly describe complex analyses and policy options in defense of marine water quality

 Review proposals for compliance with applicable law

 Advocate, communicate, and coordinate technical and policy aspects of issues with a diversity of people including policy, legal, science and outreach experts, coalition members, media, students, citizens, agency representatives, and elected officials

 Consult with COA’s outside counsel to define and organize legal positions and actions, as needed

General Program Coordination

• Maintain focus and message on pollution prevention

• Stay current on state/federal policies, regulations and rules

• Update relevant programs and information on website, and write newsletter articles

• Manage email accounts

• Support and promote development efforts, including assistance with grant proposals and

reports, and Annual Report

Qualifications and Qualities

o JD from an accredited law school (bar admission is not required), or 5 years successful public policy experience

o Knowledge of marine sciences, pollution, policy, and federal and state regulations a plus

o Familiarity with legal documents and compliance issues

o Knowledge of the political system and experience with members of congress and legislature preferred o Preference given to candidates with NY/NJ coastal experience and knowledge o Excellent research, writing, and editing skills, as well as an analytical mind o Willingness to travel in the NY/NJ area and occasionally to Washington, D.C.

COA is committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and staff members without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This position requires evening and weekend work on a periodic basis.

About COA

Clean Ocean Action is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to protecting marine water quality in the New York Bight (those waters between Montauk Point, NY, and Cape May, NJ, and to the continental shelf). COA is a broad-based coalition of over 115 active boating, business, community, conservation, diving, environmental, fishing, religious, service, student, surfing, and women’s groups. COA identifies sources of pollution and takes actions to stop them using research, education, and citizen action. For more information about COA visit www.cleanoceanaction.org.


Health and dental insurance coverage are offered on a cost-sharing basis, paid holidays and PDO, employer paid professional workshops and trainings. Ability to grow with the organization is available and performance-based.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development